My Spouse Is In Love With Someone Else – What Now?
What do you do when you find out that your spouse is in love with someone else? Do you call it quits? Leave? Do you try to get them to fall back in love with you?
I know it hurts like crazy. It’s a shock to your system, and there’s probably a ton of stuff running through your head right now.
This person promised to spend a lifetime with you… and now they’re with someone else. You’re in pain, you’re angry, and you’re questioning yourself. “Is there something wrong with me? Did I not fulfill you? Do I have some flaw that’s so major that you want to get away from me?”
On top of that, when you turn to your friends & family for advice… they probably tell you to get a divorce. But that’s not the only option.
We know, because we’ve been working with couples in situations like this for over a quarter of a century, and have found some proven methods that might work for your situation.
So, what can you do to save the marriage if your spouse is in love with someone else?
There are 3 things I’ve found that can help put your marriage back together in this situation (even if your spouse isn’t interested).
#1- Don’t think of your spouse’s lover as your competition.
No matter how hard it is, if you want to try to make your marriage work instead of getting divorced, please don’t think of the other person as competition.
You might think if he or she goes away, then that will solve the problem. But that’s not necessarily true!
You see, there’s a basic principle we teach that we call pushes and pulls. “Pushes” are anything you’re doing in your relationship (whether you realize it or not), that is pushing your spouse away from you. And the bigger those pushes become… the more likely that the spouse may leave. I’m not saying it’s your fault that your spouse is gone, so just hear me out here.
There are also pulls. Things that pull your spouse towards you (or towards someone else). In your case right now, it’s the fact that somebody else exists out there that they want to be with. So naturally, you might think “ have to match them. Be better than them.”
But what do you do if you can’t compete? You think, “She’s 25. I’m 45. I can’t compete with her.” Or “He’s handsome and rich, and I’m not handsome. They’re rich. How do I compete with him?”
The good news is- you don’t have to compete with them. In fact, you shouldn’t. It pushes your spouse away. So please stop thinking about that other person. You can’t control anything about him or her whatsoever. And even though you think somehow you have to “out pull” them in their sense of being, what they are even more so… That’s not the case at all. Because when you do that, you’ll start trying to be somebody that you’re not, and that’s going to work against you. So please stop viewing this person as your competition. They are not. If you want to think of competition at all, think about you being in competition with you.
In other words, figure out how to reduce your pushes and how to increase your pulls, which I’ll talk more about here.
#2- Remember that this “love” most likely has a short shelf life.
Often people who fall madly in love with somebody else and want to leave a marriage for this new person, actually go into a state called “limerence.” Basically it just means they’re infatuated.
After working with thousands of couples, many times, one or both of them were in limerence with other people (and we helped them put the marriage back together).
So if you’re wondering, does my spouse have that? Can I trust that they’re just in limerence, and their new “love” will be short lived? I can’t give you a definitive test… but I can tell you a few questions to ask yourself to see :
Is your spouse consumed with that other person? Understand that being obsessed, or consumed with another person, is not the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. No love that intense can last a lifetime. It has to come down to a more manageable kind of love. The kind of love that you likely have had in your marriage, that you were comfortable with and that you felt your spouse was comfortable with.
As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that he or she was comfortable with that kind of love. Now, this thing has come along. This thing called limerence, and what happens in his or her head… Brain chemicals are actually changing. And those brain chemicals give them a sense of euphoria around this person they’re “madly in love with,” and they feel depressed, or even anxious when things aren’t going well with that other person.
And again, I don’t have a blood test. I can give you a set of definitive characteristics that you can look at and go, “Oh yes, that’s definitely my spouse.”
But if he or she is absorbed into that other person… Consumed with them… It’s very likely limerence. Particularly, if their behaviors have changed to the point that you keep thinking to yourself, “I don’t know who my wife/husband is anymore.”
I know it feels terrible. Especially when you see the intensity, the emotions they have toward the other person. But as I said earlier, limerence has a shelf life. Research (and our experience) says it lasts somewhere between 3- 48 months max.
You might be thinking “48 months, that’s 4 years. That’s a lifetime.”
And I know it feels that way… but most likely, it has been going on for some time before you ever found out about it. Because they had to go through an intensification process. And so, 48 months actually might not be that far into the future right now. They may already be a couple of years into it.
Plus, not all of them go that long. 48 months is extremely rare!
In all the years that I’ve been working with people in limerence, rarely, have I ever seen one go past 36 months. You see it gets stronger and stronger, and then it gets exceptionally powerful and eventually begins to end. And it ebbs finally away.
#3- You cannot control the other person.
You can’t control your spouse’s limerence if indeed that’s what he or she is in. There’s not a pill you can sneak to them that will make it go away.
There’s not some great revelation you can give them where all of a sudden they go, “What was I thinking?” And they magically stop feeling that overnight.
As a matter of fact: It’s a better idea that you don’t try to explain that they’re “just in limerence” at all.
Because they’re just going to deny it.
Plus, if we ever get a chance to work with them, to help them understand, they won’t listen to us, because they’ve already put their defenses up against us. Or against anybody else who tries to help.
So don’t try to become their teacher or try to control the outcome.
Instead, what you CAN do is this:
Start working on yourself.
Physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually work to become the best that you possibly can be.
Not because you’re just terribly flawed and that’s why your spouse left you… But because of the fact that you need to become a better person anyway, to get through this.
And as you grow and intensify, then you naturally start increasing your pull!
I don’t have a pill that I can give you that’ll fix this overnight. No such thing exists. I’m not going to make the ridiculous promises to you that some people do on the internet.
When people say, “Well if you just do this one thing and say this one thing it’s going to fix everything.” Because that is ridiculous.
But I can tell you that if you stop focusing on the other person as your competition if you understand that limerence will end, and you realize some things you need to stop & start doing… Then there’s absolutely hope for you to put this thing back together.
It’s work. So, are you willing to do that work?
Are you willing to do the things you need to do to become the best you, you can possibly be?
By the way, the biggest downside of this is that if for some reason your marriage does fall completely apart, which we certainly hope does not happen…
…The worst thing that can happen is it sets you up to have a better relationship down the line.
But I still believe that by following the steps in our courses, there’s a way to draw your spouse back to you. We’d love to help you figure out how to do that. No counseling is needed.
In fact, couples have told us that marriage counseling actually made things worse!
Our Affair Recovery Toolkit helps you understand why your spouse had an affair and what you can do to fix it. It will help you regain your composure, your strength, and your dignity.